Itinerant traveler, sound recordist, and ex-Cabaret Voltaire provocateur Chris Watson stops in to San Francisco for a rare presentation of three pieces–“Storm” (composed with BJ Nilsen), “Midnight at the Oasis,” and “Tortuga Bay”–at the end of November. Renowned for not only his musical experimentation, the U.K.-based Watson also regularly creates field recordings for film projects and BBC-produced natural-history documentaries. “Storm,” which Watson will present in Recombinant Media Labs’ unique sound-and-visual environment, consists of recordings made of storm fronts in Scandinavia and on the North Sea, where Nilsen and Watson respectively live.

“[Since 2000, we have been] gathering recordings on our respective coastlines and islands during the very active weather windows during the autumnal equinox and winter solstice,” Watson explains on his website. “This was focused around our following one particular cyclonic system, which veers over Snipe Point on Lindisfarne to the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth, and finally descends upon Öland and Gotland where Benny [Nilsen] listened in with a favorite pair of Sennheiser omnidirectional microphones.”

“Midnight at the Oasis” and “Tortuga Bay” feature Watson’s recordings from the Kalahari desert and the Galapagos islands, while computer-music enthusiast Florian Hecker, who opens the show, uses psycho-acoustic spatializing effects for a visceral, often disorientating presentation that’s sure to wreak immediate havoc on your motor skills.

Photo of Chris Watson in Iceland by Kate Humble.

Event Details

Friday, November 30, 2007
Asphodel in association with 23five, RE/Search Publications, and the SF Art Institute present:

Chris Watson (Touch Records)
Florian Hecker (mego, Rephlex)

Two presentations at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Location announced with online reservation only. Suggested donation: $20

Donate and register for the performances.